Alanis Morissette opens up about her struggle to overcome eating disorders

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Alanis Morissette has detailed her battle to recover from eating disorders in a new interview with Women's Health. The singer -- whose debut album, Jagged Little Pill, celebrated its 20-year anniversary this year -- tells the magazine that she has dealt with bingeing and purging, starving herself and overeating.

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It has a been a difficult road to recovery for Morissette, who compares her struggle to that of an alcohol or drug addict.

"The big question for me around eating-disorder recovery is, 'What is sobriety with food?'" Morissette says. "We know with alcohol, you just don't drink it and don't go to a bar. With heroin, you just don't go near it. Whereas with food, you have to eat, so how can one go from, in my case, bingeing and purging, starving, overeating, the scale going up and down -- how can I go from that to a 'sober' approach?"

Morissette explains that her approach to overcoming her eating disorders included developing a new mindset about food and building boundaries.

Photos of Alanis Morissette from throughout her career:

Alanis Morissette through the years
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Alanis Morissette opens up about her struggle to overcome eating disorders

Singer Alanis Morissette, shown in this undated file photo, received six Grammy nominations, tying with Mariah Carey for the most nominations for any artist January 4, including best new artist, best female rock vocal performance and best rock album. The Grammys will be presented February 28 from Los Angeles.

(Ho New / Reuters)

Alanis Morissette in Paris, France on December 10, 1998.

(Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The cast and director of the new film " Dogma" pose together at the film's premiere November 9 in Hollywood. Pictured (L-R) are Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, director Kevin Smith, Salma Hayek and Alanis Morissette. 

(Fred Prouser / Reuters)

Singer ALANIS MORISSETTE played a special concert at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles August 17, 2000, capping a tour of such locales as Lebanon and Bosnia, a tour with strong social issues and human rights agenda.

(Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette during Alice 97.3 FM Now and Zen Fest to benefit the American Red Cross disaster relief funds. at the Sharon Meadow at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

(Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette during Oxygen Presents 'Alanis Morissette Custom Concert' at Sony Studios at Sony Studios in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette performs at 'We The Planet.' during Circle of Life Presents 'We The Planet' Concert in Golden Gate Park at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, United States.

(Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)

Canadian singer Alanis Morissette performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York May 23, 2008.

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Singer Alanis Morissette arrives at the 2011 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette Sitting in Hotel Room

(Rune Hellestad/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette at the 12th Annual MTV Video Music Awards

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette and Alicia Silverstone during Alanis Morissette in 1995 Concert at John Hanson Ford Theater in Hollywood, California, United States.

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Musician Alanis Morissette, left, and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell stand backstage at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards February 24, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA.

(Photo by Ron Wolfson/Getty Images)

Danny Glover and Alanis Morissette during The Tolerance through the Arts Awards Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City at United Nations in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Ryan Seacrest & Alanis Morissette at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California

(Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Meryl Streep and Alanis Morissette during Equality Now Celebrates it's 10th Anniversary at The Gramercy Theater in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette played a special free concert at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, the same day her 'Under Rug Swept' album was released.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Kevin Bacon and Alanis Morissette during Oxygen Presents 'Alanis Morissette Custom Concert' at Sony Studios at Sony Studios in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette and guest during 10th Annual Rock the Vote Patrick Lippert Awards at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, NY, United States.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Alanis Morissette, Ryan Reynolds and Pink attend The 2003 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette and her band perform as part of Alice 97.3's, Alice in Winterland concert for kids, at the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium on December 7, 2005 in San Francisco California.

(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Canadian singer Alanis Morissette arrives at the American Express Jam Sessions at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California February 11, 2005. 

(STR New / Reuters)

Singer Alanis Morissette, actor Jonah Hill, and actor Chris Kattan talking at the Los Angeles premiere after party of 'Superbad' at the Roosevelt Hotel on August 13, 2007 in Hollywood, California.

(Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)

Singer Alanis Morissette performs the Canadien and American National Anthems before the start of Game Four of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators on June 4, 2007 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada.

(Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette performs at Live Arts Group's 2nd Annual Benefit Concert on December 10, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.

(Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images)

Alanis Morissette arrives to the 20th Anniversary - 2009 EMA Awards held on the backlot at Paramount Studios on October 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Singer Alanis Morissette (R) is greeted by the Philly Phanatic after singing the National Anthem prior to Game 5 of the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia November 2, 2009.

(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

Musicians Benji Madden, Alanis Morissette and Joel Madden backstage during the Rock A Little, Feed Alot benefit concert held at Club Nokia on September 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

Contestant Josh Krajcik (L) and singer Alanis Morissette perform onstage at FOX's 'The X Factor' Top 3 Live Performance Show on December 21, 2011 in Hollywood, California. THE X FACTOR Finale airs Wed., Dec. 21 and Thurs., Dec. 22 on FOX.

(Photo by Ray Mickshaw/FOX via Getty Images)

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Pictured: (l-r) Sean Carringan as Craig, Maya Rudolph as Ava, Alanis Morissette as Amanda  

(Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Alanis Morissette is seen on November 03, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Actor Bryan Greenberg (L) and singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette attend Montblanc and Urban Arts Partnership�s 24 Hour Plays in Los Angeles at The Shore Hotel on June 20, 2014 in Santa Monica, California.

(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Montblanc)

Alanis Morissette performs at the Marianne Williamson campaign rally at Saban Theatre on May 19, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)

Singer Alanis Morissette and husband Mario Treadway arrive at the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Canadian-American singer Alanis Morissette, who is being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, poses with Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers as she arrives at the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario, March 15, 2015.

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Singer Alanis Morissette is inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario, March 15, 2015.

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)


"I've been so disassociated for most of my life, and it's shown up in various forms like eating disorders and not having boundaries around having sex as a young person, and just not being aware of boundaries and having a lot of mine be violated and not considered. For me, the idea of building boundaries has become a huge part of my spiritual practice. With the mindfulness somatic practices, it's really helped me stay in my body," she says.

"I was raised on macaroni and cheese," Morissette adds. "But I've noticed allergies that have gone away when I step away from dairy. I've noticed when I get the high-nutrient greens, I sleep better. There's less moodiness. Food is entirely medicine to me. That doesn't mean I'm just eating seeds and raspberries, although that's fun, too, but it's an integrative approach."

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